‘The light shines in the darkness and darkness has not overcome it’ –John 1:5
CFCI Bangalore held its second youth camp on 29 May 2015 at Snehadan, Carmelaram. The three day camp was a time full of fun, fellowship and learning about God, coupled with an extraordinary experience of God.
The camp began with a time of praise and worship, where every participant was on their feet praising God. The ice breaker dance “As we walk to the left”, helped the Participants to get to know one another and share the little details of their lives with each other.
At the same time, the participant’s parents were taken through a small orientation, where the formators for Youth, Joe and Anu, CFCI Couples from Bangalore, gave the parents a snap shot about the camp and how it is aimed at helping their children grow more in their relationship with God and become better individuals.
The first talk “God’s Love” brought about the realization that God has always loved us and no one can love us like He does. The talk illustrated that that God has a bigger plan for us and he keeps us close to His heart. The Group discussions after the talk helped the participants to be open to their understanding of the teaching.
After the group discussions the participants were served hot and nourishing meal and given some time to rest or watch a movie. The movie “Facing the Giants” was on trusting God and how with God all things are possible. It also highlighted the importance of working as a team.
At three o’clock the participants were led to pray the divine mercy chaplet. This was followed by talk 2. During the second talk ‘Who is Jesus to me?‘ the relationship that Jesus has with us was stressed upon. The illustration of the bridge between God and man, built by the cross brought about a whole new understanding to the way we perceive Christ Jesus. This was followed by a few outdoor games where all the participants played together in their teams.
The next session was a talk on ‘Adoration‘ followed by time of adoration in front of the sacrament. Sitting in silence and reading the letter written from God, gave each one of the participants a new love for Him and understanding of his love for them. Towards the end of the day, the participants prayed the rosary and this was followed by the entertainment night where various games were conducted to bring the participants together.
The next day started with praise and worship were each participant eagerly waited to worship God. After a small recap of the previous day’s talk, the participants learnt about sin and how it affects our relationship with the Holy Trinity.
This was followed by a game and a small skit which showed the effects of sin and the power of prayer to overcome it. A session on inner healing made the participants recognize and let go of their hurt and wounds. Through the session they were encouraged to write down all their burdens and areas of struggle. At the end of the session they were asked to step ahead and pin it to a big cross all that they had written, as an act of surrender.
The reflection and talk on ‘Importance of Confession‘ helped the participants understand the need for confession in each person’s life. The participants got an opportunity to clarify their doubts and let out their innermost feelings and struggles during the ‘One to One‘ session. This prepared them for a good confession which followed. The participants were then taught how to praise God freely, by encouraging them to use various phrases by which they could praise God.
As the participants listened to the next talk on the ‘Holy Spirit‘ they began to understand the wonderful Gifts and Fruits which the Holy Spirit gives each one when we call out to Him. The teaching set the tone for the next session which was the infilling of the Holy Spirit. This truly was the most beautiful part of the camp as with one heart everyone called out and prayed to the Spirit of God to descend upon them. Many participants were gifted with the Tongues of Fire and other different gifts from the Holy Spirit.
With this joy, everyone came together for dinner. The Rosary was prayed as the participants walked around the campus of Snehadaan. This was followed by a campfire. Around the fire, all the participants shared their experiences of the camp and danced and sang praises to the Heavenly Father.
The last day of camp began with the Holy Mass led by Fr. Matthew, who gave a sermon on the Holy Trinity.
After breakfast, the participants were taken through a letter writing session where they were made to write letters of appreciation and gratitude to their parents.
The last talk of the camp was “Life in the spirit“. This talk helped the participants understand that our walk with God doesn’t end with the camp, but needs to grow. And to do that, we have five tools to live by – Prayer, Word of God, sacraments, service and fellowship. These, if practiced regularly will enable us to grow deeper in our relationship with the Lord.
This was followed by a time of fellowship where water games were played. When the parents arrived, the participants gave their letters to their parents and the parents responded with an appreciative letter as well.
Overwhelming and gratifying testimonies were shared with all the parents and the camp ‘Ignite‘ came to a close with a time of praise and worship and fellowship.
Report by Priya Matthew, CFCI Youth, Bangalore